Four die in Rivers gas explosion
About four persons have been confirmed dead in the explosion that occurred at a gas pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Evekwu community in Emohua Council of Rivers State.
While counting their losses yesterday, residents of the communities, blamed the incident on neglect by the oil firm. They lamented that the company had failed to carry out maintenance of its equipment as stipulated by law, alleging that the explosion may have resulted due to bad leakages.
Speaking, Chris Idika, one of the community leaders in Evekwu, regretted that despite the loss of lives, the incident also destroyed the economic life of the people.
He accused the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and Agip, operating the gas line in the area of neglect, noting that the companies had not visited the site to find out the level of damage done to the area since the explosion began on Tuesday.
Idika said: “We own the land where the facility is located, I can confirm that over four people died during the incident.” He disclosed that the victims are farmers who had gone for their activities and were engulfed in the gas that was emitting from the facility and that they were buried at the evil forest based on their culture.
Idika said: “After the explosion, it was much later we heard cries from the farm and we heard that gas pipeline exploded at the farm side. “We have two pipelines there, one is owned by Agip while the other is owned by NLNG. The company has not visited the community.
“The companies are aware because while the gas was emitting there was a shutdown which after about five hours the gas started going down till it stopped. If they are not aware they would not have shut it down.
“We have lost three people by death and according to our tradition demands anyone that dies in the bush because of any controversy we don’t bury them at home neither do we keep them to avert further deaths.
“Anybody that is in doubt can come and see their graves at the evil forest very close.